Menopause, PMS and other hormonal imbalances plague women worldwide. “The Curse” as a woman’s monthly cycle is commonly referred to, really shouldn’t be bad. There are many things that can be done naturally to mitigate the symptoms women have.
I have had many women who come in that have heavy periods and horrible cramping that leave them rolled up in a ball and in agony. Most need medications to take the edge off. It is really rewarding when they come in, one month after another, with reports like this: “I hardly had any cramps this time!” “My flow was so much less!” “I didn’t want to kill my husband!” Each month getting better and better, until it becomes the easy cycle it’s supposed to be.
At the other end of the spectrum is menopause. The hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, headaches, and other symptoms that come unannounced (and unwelcomed!) day after day. It’s so nice to see the coolness in their faces and the calm as their symptoms abate.
So, is there anything you can do to help yourself? Most people need a combination of acupuncture, supplementation and other modalities to help, but there are a couple of key things that you can do in the meantime to help reduce symptoms.
The first is to get the sugar out of your diet, especially chocolate. In another article I wrote previously, was about a young gal who came in that raged 3 weeks out of every month. The only thing she was willing to do (with a bit of coercion on my part), was to quit the chocolate she was addicted to. Within weeks 80% of her symptoms were gone, especially the rage. We were then able to do acupuncture to resolve the rest of it. Women who are menopausal, once they stop the sugar, they are amazed at how much better they do. Then, when they have some sugar at an event, they get a hot flash almost instantly – it’s not hard to connect the dots on that one. Alcohol, as a refined sugar, does the same.
Caffeine is another thing that has an impact on both PMS and menopause. Coffee, energy drinks, caffeinated tea and sodas increase both the frequency (of menopausal symptoms) and intensity of PMS and menopausal symptoms. Caffeine interferes with estrogen, progesterone and cortisol levels, and with the neurotransmitters in the brain (leads to adverse psychological effects), and interferes with mineral absorption/retention in the body. Since all of the hormone-producing glands in the body are dependent on minerals for proper function, that interferes with hormones globally in the body.
Eliminating those two things from the diet has the potential to have a great impact on your hormonal symptoms. If not, or not enough, seek out acupuncture care. Not only does it help symptomatically, but helps the underlying mechanism that went awry in the first place. You’ll be happy you did.
©2022 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.